Monday, December 9, 2013

Quack-o-nomics: Mulcair will raise taxes by one zillion dollars!

A neo-con economist from Maclean’s shows why it’s almost impossible to have a serious policy discussion — these days. Taking a page from Harper’s playbook, Andrew Leach claims Mulcair will impose a $100 per-ton carbon cap that will raise the price of gas 25 cents a liter.

To put things in perspective, Mulcair proposes the same cap and trade program Europe uses. There the price on carbon is presently 4.40 euros per ton — or $6.50 CAD!

Math this bad certainly puts the 2008 global economic meltdown in perspective.

Trouble with economics is economists

As Paul Krugman points out, the real problem with economics is economists. They regularly pluck numbers out of thin air to support whatever agenda they have. They cherry pick and manipulate statistics like a neo-con spins propaganda. It’s not Aristotelian — it’s far worse.

A neo-con’s impression of Mulcair — or any NDP leader, for that matter.

Take the Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff paper, Growth in a Time of Debt. It said countries that have more than 90% debt/GDP experience a steep decline in economic growth. It was the foundation of failed austerity measures around the world.

It turned out they cooked the statistics. Who discovered this? A Nobel-prize winning economist? No a PhD student doing a homework assignment.

So not only are there no standards, it seems few economists care.

If Reinhart and Rogoff had been journalists, or scientists or academics in any other field, their careers would be toast. But they are back in the debate still promoting the same debunked junk-economics as if nothing happened.

Economics as science

Economics determines how humans behave en masse. This means the very survival of civilization depends on it. If we don’t make economics a science, civilization will collapse under the weight of its own corruption.

Economics is not dismal and fatalistic as nihilistic neo-cons would have you believe. Investing in human capital — people — makes a country wealthy and productive. Spending big on infrastructure greases the wheels of business. Green regulations create new industry, business opportunities and jobs.

Sound, balanced economic policy will solve the world’s problems. Flaky self-serving ideology will destroy us.

1 comment:

  1. 25 cents per L seems like a reasonable number for the first year of a serious greenhouse gas reduction program. The economy survive larger increases in gas prices a few years ago.